Flint Hills to idle Alaska refinery’s crude unit by third quarter

12 April 2012 20:03  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Flint Hills Resources (FHR) will idle a crude unit at its 219,500 bbl/day North Pole refinery in Alaska by the third quarter of this year, a company spokesman said on Thursday.

The company said it decided to idle its No 1 crude unit because of poor refining economics and an increase in crude oil prices.

It will continue to operate its remaining No 2 crude unit, which produces jet fuel, gasoline, asphalt and specialty fuels for Alaskan markets, according to a company press release. The refinery previously idled its No 3 crude unit in 2010.

“The process is starting now and we expect it be complete by late summer, early [autumn],” said refinery spokesman Jeff Cook.

The reduced production capacity will cause FHR to reduce its work force by 35-40 employees. The North Pole refinery has approximately 150 employees, according to its website.

“This is the most difficult decision we have had to make in operating this refinery,” said Mike Brose, vice president of Alaska operations and manager of the Flint Hills refinery. “Crude oil and Alaska North Slope crude prices in particular, are very high and are expected to remain that way for the foreseeable future.”

By: Anna Matherne

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